November 26, 2013

I know everyone is busy getting read for Thanksgiving this week. I just wanted to quickly share a link to The Sustainable Seed Company. Thanks to Concretin from Concretin’s Colluquium over at Just Measure’s Radio for bringing it to my attention during one of The Medic Shack’s (a show I co-host) broadcasts.

The Sustainable Seed Company has some really interesting stuff. They have heirloom grains, including some ancient wheat strains. Those older wheat strains have less gluten than modern wheat, which can be further eliminated through sprouting and soaking. Now, I’ve purchased already sprouted and milled flours, and they are pricey. I can’t really justify their expense in a frugal budget. But, if you have the room to grow some grains, this might be a way to get highly digestible bread on the table for a little effort and even less cost.

Quinoa, a very pretty seed/grain to grow.
Quinoa, a very pretty seed/grain to grow.

Another item I find very interesting is organic quinoa seeds. I’ve been cooking with quinoa because I tolerate it well, and it cooks in less time than rice. Quinoa is easy to store for long-term food storage, and it makes a great flour for gluten-free pasta. It is also a complete protein, which is almost unheard of outside eating animal flesh, which is another reason I’ve added it to long term food storage.

There is, however, a major downside to it, and it’s a moral one. The demand for quinoa in the Unites States has driven the local price for quinoa so high that the native people of the Andes mountain region cannot afford their staple food. The Guardian has an article here that explains the dilemma in more detail.

I’m not interested in taking from others. I do, however, see great value in an easy to store, easy to cook, complete protein source that a wheat-sensitive stomach can tolerate. I’ve been hoping that a US based company would start to produce quinoa domestically, but I’m unaware of any who have gone this route. If any of you readers know of one that does, I would LOVE to know! The only solution I could come up with was just to try and grow my own. Well, now I have a seed source!

Another item of interest is heirloom tobacco. I don’t smoke, but for those that do I will spare you the lecture on quitting. I would urge you to consider growing your own heirloom tobacco. The tobacco used in cigarettes is a GMO tobacco, invented to withstand the pesticides used to grow the tobacco. Those pesticides remain in the tobacco and get inhaled into your body (along with all the other chemical additives that are both highly addictive and carcinogenic). So, if you’re going to smoke, at least smoke the cleanest tobacco you can, which is no where near as addictive as the store-bought stuff.

Tobacco flower
Tobacco flower

Two more reasons to grow heirloom tobacco even if you do not smoke:

  1. For the herbalists out there, a flower essence can be made from the tobacco flowers that help people quit smoking tobacco.
  2. For the long term sustainability minded, tobacco would make a great barter item in alternative economies.

And finally, the last thing I wanted to point out,  The Sustainable Seed Company also has a variety of long term storable seeds. There is a “bug out bag” seed bag, which would be easy to pack in a 72-hour emergency bag (always a good idea to have a quick bag packed in case of emergencies!), plus several cans of seeds packed for long term storage. I’ve been building my own private seed bank, but these cans, which many seed companies are now jumping on the preparedness bandwagon, are a great way to get started.

A long term seed bank is not for your year-to-year seed storing. This is a different beast entirely. This is for emergencies only. If you’re asking yourself why anyone would need “emergency seeds”, that’s a fair question. Hopefully, you never do. However, what happens if your house floods and your normal seed is stored in the part of the house that floods? What happens if there is a house fire? Every year, there are more and more GMO seeds being developed. They have not produced the bigger yields promised, but they have created toxic soil and “super pests”. Maybe it’s just a good idea to have a back up to those GMOs on hand, just in case.

What are your favorite places to buy or trade for seeds? What unique things did you grow this year? What might you plant next year? Leave comments below, I love to read them!!!

About the Author Homesteading Mom

Homesteading Mom is run by Cat Ellis, an herbalist, prepper and aspiring homesteader. Cat is the author of two books, Prepper's Natural Medicine and Prepping for a Pandemic. Cat Ellis also blogs at,, and

    • I had no idea is was being grown in Canada! That's a great thing to hear, because it's really a problem sourcing it from South America, where our market demand has driving the price up on quinoa to the point that many of the people who have been depending on this as a staple crop traditionally now cannot afford it. However, unless I'm missing something, I think that link just sells the finished product ready for the consumer, not the seed? Unless I totally missed something, which has been known to happen. lol
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